Victor Arden Barnard
A Minnesota religious leader sought by the U.S. on sex charges was able to elude a manhunt because of the support of a local woman, a longtime friend who traveled with him and supported him, the Brazilian lead investigator in the case said Wednesday.
The Washington State Patrol says investigators have acted on 20 or 30 tips this week as they check locations in the Spokane-area in their search for a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing at least two girls in rural Minnesota.
Authorities have issued a nationwide warrant for a 52-year-old man accused of having sex with girls while ministering to a religious group in Northern Pine County. Victor Arden Barnard, originally of Finlayson, Minn., faces 59 felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection to the alleged abuse that occurred from 2000 until 2009.